April 27, 2007 - Our latest DVD review critiques Dinosaurs: The Complete Third and Fourth Seasons. This 4-disc set holds the early '90s Disney comedy's final 36 episodes, totaling just under 14 hours of content. The DVD includes two episode commentaries, two featurettes, and five Easter Eggs. The set offers some solid episodes of the family sitcom, which is at its best when its not using its prehistoric cast to make social or political commentary. Click here for the full, 2-page review.
Our Upcoming DVD Price Cuts thread has been updated to reflect more than twenty Disney and Buena Vista DVDs that will undergo permanent price reductions this August. Click for the complete list.
Disney has finally announced a DVD release for the IMAX documentary Roving Mars. The Frank Marshall-produced film on bots scouring the Red Planet will arrive on both DVD and Blu-ray Disc on July 31st, a staggering 18 months since its theatrical opening. Both releases will offer 16x9 and 4x3 versions of the movie, plus Walt Disney's 1957 "Disneyland" episode "Mars and Beyond" (available on Tomorrowland Treasure) and the featurette "Mars: Past, Present & Future."
Our Upcoming DVD Art page has been updated with a revised High School Musical: The Concert cover and artwork from forthcoming non-Disney DVDs we'll be reviewing here.
April 24, 2007 - Our coverage of non-Disney DVDs begins right now with a look at Night at the Museum: 2-Disc Special Edition, one of today's new releases from 20th Century Fox. Ben Stiller headlines this blockbuster comedy/adventure as a watchman at the center of the Manhattan museum where all exhibits come to life at night. His accomplished co-stars include Dick Van Dyke, Mickey Rooney, Robin Williams, Carla Gugino, Ricky Gervais, Owen Wilson, and Steve Coogan. Slightly flawed but very fun, this PG-rated film gets good mileage of its interesting premise. The loaded DVD includes serious and fun commentaries, 17 minutes of deleted scenes, three TV episodes, a blooper reel, 7 featurettes, trailers, and a DVD-ROM game. Click here for the complete review.
April 23, 2007 - According to forwarded e-mails, Walt Disney Home Entertainment Technical Support has begun replacing faulty copies of Walt Disney's Legacy Collection: True-Life Adventures, Volume 4 - Nature's Mysteries. Select pressings of this December DVD fail to present the Disc 2 movie Secrets of Life in its original format-changing presentation. See this post for more information on the anomaly. To arrange for a disc replacement within the United States, call 1-800-723-4763 or e-mail Disneyinfo@Disneyhelp.com.
April 20, 2007 - UltimateDisney.com is developing a spin-off DVD news/reviews website to provide coverage of high-profile releases from other major studios. While UD will continue to cover all things Disney, the expansion will bring the type of comprehensive critiques and schedules you've come to expect to other significant movies and TV shows from outside the Walt Disney Company. Once this general DVD site launches, it will co-exist with UD. Until then, we'll be supplementing our coverage of Buena Vista's slow spring slate with looks at some exciting new DVDs, beginning with the forthcoming two-disc sets of Fox's Night at the Museum and DreamWorks' Dreamgirls. Keep visiting UD, as there a number of exciting articles afoot and one major site launch in the works.
April 16, 2007 - Artwork for the Blu-ray Disc version of Bridge to Terabithia has been added to Upcoming Cover Art. The film will become Walt Disney Pictures' 11th to be made available on Disney Blu-ray.
April 15, 2007 - Amazon.com has made Bridge to Terabithia: Widescreen Edition available for preorder at 30% off its list price. Disney/Walden's warmly-received family drama crosses over to DVD on June 19th.
April 13, 2007 - Our latest review looks at The Queen, the highly-decorated Miramax film which comes to DVD later this month. This drama stars Oscar winner Helen Mirren as Queen Elizabeth II and Michael Sheen as Prime Minister Tony Blair, two very different leaders with opposing responses to Princess Diana's death in 1997. Involving human drama, a clever script, and convincing realism all contribute to a film with merits well beyond its excellent cast. The DVD includes an interview-based featurette and separate filmmaker and historian audio commentaries. Click here for the full review.
Disney has formally announced the DVD release of High School Musical: The Concert - Extreme Access Pass, an hour-long presentation of the nationwide tour spawned by the record-shattering 2006 telemovie. The disc launches the Disney Channel's new D*Concert series. See the press release for more information.
Adhering to the long-established calendar, Disney has announced that Baby Einstein: Discovering Shapes, the 24th volume in the best-selling tot franchise, will come to DVD on July 24th.
Disney has scheduled a June 19th DVD and Blu-ray Disc release for Bridge to Terabithia. The PG-rated, Walden co-produced adaptation of Katherine Paterson's popular novel will be joined by the featurettes "Digital Imagination: Bringing Terabithia to Life" and "Behind the Book: The Themes of Bridge to Terabithia" and star AnnaSophia Robb's "Keep Your Mind Wide Open" music video. The film will be presented in Dolby Digital 5.1 and sold in separate widescreen and fullscreen DVD versions. Carrying a list price $5 above the DVD, the Blu-ray disc will hold all the standard DVD features but no exclusive extras. Click here for cover art.
Disney has issued a press release for Hannah Montana: Pop Star Profile. The announcement reveals that the June 26th DVD will hold four Season One episodes which all center on the budding relationship between Miley and famous TV actor Jake Ryan. The disc will also include a concert performance of "Nobody's Perfect" and the featurette "The Real Miley Cyrus." See the full press release for more information.
A BVHE representative has posted an update on The Aristocats: Special Edition. The DVD, originally scheduled for March 2007 release, is being "delayed until Spring 2008...so Disney can add new, never-before-seen bonus features." Read the post and discuss it here.
March 30, 2007 - Feared to have ended, the highly-praised Walt Disney Treasures line will continue on December 11, 2007 with three new volumes. Disneyland: Secrets, Stories and Magic and Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, both touted as upcoming sets in the recently-launched Walt Disney's Legacy Collection, will actually be branded Treasures. Joining them will be The Chronological Donald, Volume 3, housing the irascible duck's cartoon shorts from 1947 to 1950. While this news is subject to change, a draft press release being circulated online claims that Leonard Maltin will once again be involved with this seventh and latest wave. (In an e-mail to UD, Mr. Maltin has confirmed this.) There is no news regarding the Walt Disney/Salvador Dali collaboration Destino, completed in 2003, which was another title being promoted as an upcoming Legacy Collection DVD release. More Wave 7 information can be found here.
Recent Disney DVD and Movie Reviews:
• White Fang - Disney's loose but winning 1991 adaptation of Jack London's famous novel stars Ethan Hawke as a young man joining the Klondike Gold Rush to explore his late father's mine. The 2002 DVD release is a bust, with a fullscreen-only presentation, poor picture quality, and no extras, but the movie deserves a look.
• Buzz Lightyear of Star Command: The Adventure Begins - This 2000 direct-to-video movie launched Disney's outer space comedy cartoon with a single-narrative pilot. An uninspired spin-off to Pixar's blockbusters, it drops most Toy Story characters to focus on the intergalactic space ranger that spawned the action figure. Not an utter mess, but occasionally on-target humor can't trump formulaic storytelling and subpar animation. The DVD serves up an erroneously matted, non-enhanced widescreen transfer and three largely disposable bonuses.
• Jump In! - This recent TV movie is one of the Disney Channel's better productions, grounding its formulas and familiar message in a realistic, relatable world. The Freestyle Edition DVD includes two brief but informative featurettes and two music videos.
• Meet the Robinsons - The 46th entry to Disney's long line of Feature Animation, this G-rated comedy-adventure impresses both visually and as a story, overcoming a confusing structure and a weak, wacky center to be both enjoyable and refreshingly different.
Recent Touchstone DVD Reviews:
• Deja Vu - Denzel Washington stars as a New Orleans AFT agent investigation a Naval ferry explosion and woman's murder which might be related. This involving but standard crime drama assumes a sci-fi bent in its second half, yielding a clever, compelling time-travel tale which surpasses expectations for a Jerry Bruckheimer/Tony Scott flick. The sufficient DVD serves up batches of deleted and extended scenes plus an audio commentary sprinkled with ten featurettes.
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